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Graphic Classics: Batman: Year One

Posted by: jwalsh, October 2, 2013 4:54 pm
Blog Image: 

Batman: Year One (1987)

Written by Frank Miller, illustrated by David Mazzucchelli

This wonderful exploration of one of the great origin myths of comics is Frank Miller at his best. Batman is shown to be fallible and fumbling. He needs to find his way and at first he stumbles.

This is also the origin story of Commissioner Gordon. At this point, he is a lieutenant recently arrived into Gotham’s deeply corrupt police force. He has to deal with backstabbers, makes his own grievous mistakes, and beats the crap out of green berets.

Mazzucchelli went for a flat palette that is reminiscent of newspaper comics and a nice nod to the genus of the comic book. When he finds his footing, we see another great Miller vision of Batman. Batman becomes the coolly calculating, precise, and genuinely dangerous hero we know.

It is really fun to read this and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns for a kind of bookending of Batman: his beginning and his post retirement return to action.

—Christian Zabriskie





I agree. "Batman Year One" is a classic. Another Frank Miller Batman, "All Star Batman and Robin", has a similiar take and is just as good. The Vicki Vale artwork in the first few pages contain one of my favorite panels of all time. Of course Frank Miller is probably the single most important reason that comics are now considerered adult reading instead of kid stuff. Millers "The Dark Knight Returns" may be the single most influential comic run of all time. Millers work on Batman and Daredevil, along with Brits Alan Moore (Swamp Thing, From Hell, Watchman) and Neil Gaiman (Sandman) led the way for more adult themes and writing. Now Ed Brubaker (notably his Captain America run), Brian Bendis (Ulimate Spiderman) Scott Snyber (Batman Court of Owls) Tony Daniels (Batman Detective) and other are making comic plots as complex and interesting as the best SF/Fantasy novels.

I like thi book bcause their you identify the fiction part